Tourism Tony toasts thambili !

Monday, 28 February 2011 00:53 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Tony Greig savours a thambili whilst chatting with Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa (left) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Acting Managing Director Malraj Kiriella at a reception last night at Cinnamon Grand’s iconic Nugagama hosted for the visiting journalists and crew of the ESPN which is the host broadcaster of 2011 World Cup and ICC Global Media Rights partner ESPN STAR Sports.

Tony Greig appointed Sri Lanka Tourism ambassador

In a significant move to boost destination Sri Lanka the world famous past cricketer and currently influential and entertaining commentator Tony Greig has been appointed as a Tourism ambassador.

“We have appointed Tony as a Tourism envoy for a period of six months to promote Sri Lanka during the on-going cricket World Cup and Indian Premier League,” Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa told the Daily FT last night.

“Given his own admiration of Sri Lanka Tony is an ideal spokesman for the country for the global audience especially in the area of sports tourism,” Sri Lanka Promotion Bureau Acting Managing Director Malraj Kiriella added.

Tourism industry welcomed the appointment and noted that given billions glued to TV globally during the ICC World Cup and the IPL thereafter, Tony’s role on promoting destination Sri Lanka will have a positive impact among prospective holiday makers to Sri Lanka.

Last year Sri Lanka drew a record 650,000 tourists, up by 46% whilst among major source markets include Europe especially England and South Asia dominantly India, where some of the regional countries find cricket as a passion or a religion. Tony’s role will also woo more tourists from traditionally cricket strong yet tourist wise under- performing countries such as Australia, South Africa, West Indies, South Africa and Canada.

The 64-year old Tony is currently in Sri Lanka as part of the commentary team for ICC World Cup exclusive TV coverage. Several Sri Lanka-centric cricket parlances including “Little Kalu” for Romesh Kaluwitharana are linked to Tony.  

The lanky Tony who is a right hand bat and right arm medium and off-break bowler had played 58 tests for England and 22 ODIs in addition to 350 first class matches. He was the Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1975.

He was the first England player to take five wickets in an innings and score century in the same Test against the West Indies at Bridgetown in the 1973-74 series. He also scored 3,000 runs and took 100 wickets for England in official Tests.